Speaker Reflection | Chris Ross

Lauren Mulherrin Gongorek
2 min readAug 5, 2021

On July 22nd, I attended an HPT guest speaker presentation by Chris Ross. Chris is a performance consultant with over 30 years of experience. He owns The Engagement Effect, a multi-discipline training and consulting firm with clients throughout North America. The Engagement Effect specializes in performance improvement, leadership and supervisory development, employee selection and engagement, strategic planning, and risk management.

Throughout Chris’ presentation, he would ask questions that seemed to have obvious answers but were in fact very thought provoking. For example, at one point he asked, “What do high performers get rewarded with?” In my head, I thought, “Praise and recognition.” Then a few classmates went off mute and said, “More work!” Then Chris asked, “And what do under performers get?” The answer, “More attention.” I suddenly realized how true this was and began reflecting on my own experiences. This was a reminder to not just take observations of a workplace at surface level but to really consider the underlying dynamics at play. Yes, a high performer may get praise and recognition but what else do they get? In this example, more work is very often the case and this can then lead to burn-out, turn-over, and overall performance issues.

I really appreciated Chris’ perspective on how to apply change models. While they are effective, he called out that large scale change is never straight forward and that change is often iterative, not linear. This is similar to how I view instructional design models. For these reasons, I think that experience in the HPT field is necessary in order to apply change models in the best way possible for the specific situation at hand. His perspective definitely helped me see the parallels between my work in learning design and his in performance consulting.

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Lauren Mulherrin Gongorek
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Enthusiastic learning and development professional inspired by human-centered design and the future of adult learning.